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Lingo – A Guide To Australian Words & Phrases

by Marquette Turner

in Resources, Wise Guy


Ankle-biter – young child.
ANZAC – Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (or a soldier thereof).
Barrack – support, cheer (as in sport.)
Baths – public swimming pool.
Bewdy – good.
Big Smoke – city.
Bikie – what a Yank would call a “biker”.
Bikkie – biscuit, or money.
Big bikkies – lots of money.
Biro – ballpoint pen (of any brand).
Biscuit – what Yanks call a cookie, (what they call biscuits are scones, while their scones are buns)
Blue – fight.
Bonnet (of car) – hood.
Boot (of car) – trunk.
Buckley’s chance – no chance at all.
Built-in wardrobe – closet.

Caravan – mobile home towed by a car.
Chemist – drug store.
Chips – crisps.
Chips – french fries.
Chips – chips.
Chook – a chicken
Cinema – movie theatre.
Clapped out – ruined/useless.
Constable – policeman of bottom rank (“officer” in the USA).
Cotton (roll of) – thread.
Crank – idiot. (Feeling)
Crook – (feeling) ill.
Dacks – trousers.
Dag – humourist.
Drawing pin – thumb tack.
Drongo – fool/moron
Dill – fool

Egg on – encourage.
Flannel – wash-cloth.
Flat – apartment.
Flicks – movies.
Footpath – sidewalk.
Fruiterer – person who runs a shop that sells fruit.
Galah – a fool.
Gander – have a look at.
Gear stick – stick shift.
Go for your life – request granted, go ahead.
Grill – broil.
Ground floor – floor of building level with the ground (called the 1st floor in the USA, similarly 1st floor in Australia is second floor in USA, and so on.)
Guernsey – jersey/jumper (usually “Football guernsey”)


Jackaroo – apprentice worker on a sheep or cattle station.
Jumper – sweater.
Jug – pitcher.
Kark it – die.
Kiosk – booth.

Lift – elevator.
Lingo – Language
Lock-up – jail.
Lolly – money, or a sweet.
Lorry – truck. Matilda – swag/bluey/pack/what a tramp carries.
Mobile phone – cell-phone.
Nappy – diaper.
Nick – good conduct, or steal, or jail.
Noah’s ark – shark.
Nong – fool/idiot.
Nosh – food.


Ocker – rough, ready, strine-speaking Australian.
O.S. – overseas.
Overcoat – topcoat.
Oz – Australia.
Ozzie (never pronounced “Ossie”) – Australian.
Paddy wagon – police van.
Parka – ski jacket. Petrol – gas(online).
Pikelet – hotcake.
Poloneck – turtleneck.
Pom / Pommie – person from Britain.
Poof/poofter – a homosexual. Post – mail.
Premier – state governor.
Punt – bet/gamble.
Queue – line (of people).

Rack off – leave…NOW!
Ringer – shearer, or look-alike.
Ripper – good. Road surface – pavement.
R.S.L. – (abbreviation for “Returned Servicemen’s League”, an organisation of one-time military personnel.)
Root – have sex (and now you Americans know why the Australians around you crack up when you say how important it is to root for your team.)
Rubber – eraser.
Spanner – wrench.
Station – thing a train stops at, or a ranch.
Strine – Australian (“Strine” being an exaggerated phonetic rendering of the word “Australian”.)

Tap – faucet.
Tea towel – dish towel.
Tin (of food) – can.
Togs – clothing (for sporting activities, usually).
Torch – flashlight.
Trailer – open tray towed by a car.
Tram – street car.
Underground – subway.
Ute – utility vehicle, a pickup truck.

Wag – comedian, practical joker or to purposely miss turning up to something (eg. to “wag” school)
Windscreen – windshield.
Yahoo or Yobbo – slob, loud-mouthed fool.
Yank – a native of the USA, any part, north or south.
Zebra crossing – pedestrian crossing, indicated by white bars painted on the road, each rectangle of white and black of equal size.
Zed – the way the last letter of the alphabet is pronounced.
Zonk – dud.
Zonked – tired, or fell asleep.

More information: You can download this document as a handy PDF document – LINGO


{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Terence March 16, 2009 at 5:27 am

… and you missed Septic, a Yank and To and From, a Pom

Terence March 16, 2009 at 5:27 am

… and you missed Septic, a Yank and To and From, a Pom

Terence March 16, 2009 at 3:27 pm

… and you missed Septic, a Yank and To and From, a Pom

max191 October 3, 2009 at 4:41 am

I happen to enter your blog with the help of google search. To my sheer luck I got what I was searching for. Thanks
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